Authorities noticed the car at around 4 a.m. The vehicle was parked illegally in a red zone, and police saw what appeared to be a suspicious package inside.
While an officer was inspecting the glove compartment of the vehicle, a small explosion occurred, apparently from some firecrackers. Police said that officer was "slightly injured" but was expected to be OK.
Investigators also found a small amount of white substance they believed to be narcotics.
The white sedan, which police discovered was stolen, was parked at Vernon and Ninth avenues.
The Los Angeles Police Department shuttled area residents from their homes in buses as a precaution while the bomb squad conducted their investigation.
City News Service contributed to this report.